Four decades ago Francis Schaeffer wrote, “The battle for a Christian understanding of the world is being waged on several fronts. Not the least of these is Biblical study in general, and especially the question of how the opening chapters of the Bible are to be read. Modern writers commenting on the book of Genesis tend to treat the first eleven chapters as something other than history. For some, the material is simply a Jewish myth, having no more historical validity for modern man than the Epic of Gilgamesh or the story of Zeus. For others, it forms a pre-scientific vision that no one who respects the results of scholarship can accept. Still others find the story symbolic but no more. Some accept the early chapters of Genesis as revelation in regard to an upper-story religious truth, but allow any sense of truth in regard to history and the cosmos (science) to be lost…. Here is where the great battle lines lie. Here is where the future of Christian civilization rests. Either God¹s Word can be trusted or it cannot. Therefore, it is the first order of business in the Church to settle the matter of how Genesis is to be read.” (from Genesis in Space and Time, 1972)
What was evidently true then, is surely even more so today. The battle for our culture and the battle for the faith really begin on the front lines of Genesis 1-11.
Over the next several months at Parish Pres, we will undertake a detailed study of those early, formative chapters of the Bible–where virtually every Biblical truth, every doctrinal position, and every dogmatic revelation is given to us in seed form. May God use this time to shape and form in us an effectual faith and an abounding grace to meet the challenges of our culture and our world.